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Re: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience t

For information to some readers, the IRS normally sends letters concerning tax return issues about fifteen months after the normal close of the tax season (July 2014 for 2012 tax returns). A lot of people fail to read the letters (e.g., CP2000) closely enough to notice to which tax year the IRS ref...
by BigFoot48
Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience this?
Replies: 46
Views: 5783

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

Another service Costco provides is the Hearing Aid Center. We have not used it, but my MIL recently told us that her doctor recommended she get a hearing aid, which we think is a good idea, so we stopped by the Center to inquire about the process and cost. The employee told a few horror stories abou...
by BigFoot48
Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 93
Views: 4633

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

I forgot to mention one of my most favorite Costco features - for most of the year they have couches or recliners for sale that I can enjoy and watch the parade of humanity while DW does the serious shopping. And if I'm lucky, I can rest with a food sample snack as a bonus!
by BigFoot48
Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 93
Views: 4633

Re: Excess RMD

Between my large IRA and my wife's likely inherited IRA, in five years we are going to have way more RMD money coming into taxable than we will ever spend (although it might inspire us to do something foolish with it). Until that happens though, I plan to invest it in Total Market Stock fund and Int...
by BigFoot48
Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess RMD
Replies: 19
Views: 895

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

Bustoff wrote:Wow,thanks for all the replies!
We heading down to Costco for a membership today.
The American Express card sounds like a great deal if the rebate is in addition to the 2% Executive rebate.

It is. Two separate rebates. Ours were $130 Costco and $118 Amex last year.
by BigFoot48
Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 93
Views: 4633

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

Oh, and a $2 hotdog with drink can't be beat for lunch! You must go to a fancy Costco. Ours is $1.50. Gill Oops, senior moment - $1.50 here too. And we just bought our first $5.99 pumpkin pie for the season. And this just in: Apple products are back in Costco! Yeah! iPhones, tablets, MP3 players an...
by BigFoot48
Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 93
Views: 4633

Re: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?

We're a retired couple with an Executive membership that pays for itself every year. We do 80% of our food shopping there, along with some clothes, glasses, pills, paper products, electronics, tools and gasoline, and it saves us money and offers a convenient shopping experience. Oh, and a $1.50 hotd...
by BigFoot48
Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco:is it worth it for just two people?
Replies: 93
Views: 4633

Re: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....

He wants to change the "will". He is going to leave $400,000 from estate and $200,000 from life insurance for me. another$200,000 from life insurance will still goes into trust account for my child until he is 22. A good resolution to this difficult, and unusual, problem. That, combined w...
by BigFoot48
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My husband's " WILL", $ left for me to live on....
Replies: 258
Views: 16327

Re: Gas station etiquette

"A watched parked car never pulls out."
by BigFoot48
Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 2818

Re: Gas station etiquette

I would have consoled him over his lack of power steering that made it so apparently difficult to pull out into the wide aisle that Costco provides for this situation.
by BigFoot48
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas station etiquette
Replies: 46
Views: 2818

Re: .com rather than .gov, lesson learned

I recently got a smartphone and added an app that reads the QR codes that link to websites and additional information, or so I thought. So we get a piece of junk mail yesterday and it has a nice big QR code so I thought I would scan it and see how it works. Sure enough, it takes me to a website but ...
by BigFoot48
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: .com rather than .gov, lesson learned
Replies: 18
Views: 2443

Re: Schwab - now endorsing Index Funds

I am Vanguard all the way. I hate to ask a schwab question here :) I want to open joint/custodial account for my niece and was looking at Schwab's Total Market index fund and some ETFs. any suggestions on ETFs and how to allocate $1000 between the two? If she's a young person, I would keep it simpl...
by BigFoot48
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab - now endorsing Index Funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2094

Re: Schwab - now endorsing Index Funds

I'm at Schwab and along with the Schwab S&P 500 index fund, I have a number of Vanguard ETFs (to avoid the large transaction fees) that together compose my Coffeehouse portfolio. When I hit 70 in a few years I plan to restructure to the Three-Fund portfolio for the duration. I just looked at a c...
by BigFoot48
Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab - now endorsing Index Funds
Replies: 24
Views: 2094

Re: S&P500 over 2000

Looks like when I retired in 1998 and was flush with cash and wondering what to do I bought the S&P 500 index, both Schwabs and Vanguards, at about 990. I later sold the Vanguard holding, and bought and sold many stocks and funds over the next few years, but ended up adding to the Schwab fund ag...
by BigFoot48
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: S&P500 over 2000
Replies: 68
Views: 5315

Re: Smartphone recommendations for under $200

Yes, one card purchase gives you those 3 separate items. Apparently (read in a forum) Tracfone doesn't allow its phones to be set up as a hotspot, if that's your question. Other than that, it's normal wifi. I added an app that shuts off using the cell-provided data if an open wifi signal is present,...
by BigFoot48
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone recommendations for under $200
Replies: 24
Views: 1954

Re: Smartphone recommendations for under $200

I just bought our first smartphone after using dumb ones for years. I'm on Tracfone and they released earlier this year an LG Optimus Dynamic II - LG39C. I bought it for $90 at Amazon and it comes with triple minutes. My existing 2,700 minutes (we don't make or receive a lot of cell phone calls and ...
by BigFoot48
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone recommendations for under $200
Replies: 24
Views: 1954

Re: Tesla S

A couple of owners post an "open letter" ad to Elon Musk on improvements they would like to see and he agrees on some of them. Probably not something that would happen with GM, Ford, et.al. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/24/tesla-newspaper-ad_n_5705381.html?utm_hp_ref=business Tesla...
by BigFoot48
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla S
Replies: 511
Views: 53783

Re: Ideal pace of IRA conversion at age 61?

And try my model to set your own conversion amounts: Retiree Portfolio Model (formerly known as the Retiree Roth Conversion Decision Model).
by BigFoot48
Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ideal pace of IRA conversion at age 61?
Replies: 3
Views: 411

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Just finished The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. I thought it was excellent, with an interesting look at an energy-challenged, gene-splicing future set in Thailand.
by BigFoot48
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3267
Views: 1112958

Re: Roth Conversion - Old Age

MDisciple87 wrote:What is this Taxcaster and where can I play with it?
Use my model and see if it doesn't give you all the financial information you need on the Roth conversion question: Retiree Portfolio Model (formerly known as the Retiree Roth Conversion Decision Model).
by BigFoot48
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion - Old Age
Replies: 31
Views: 1181

Re: Help please with revised plan for living in retirement

I think you are making a very good decision to defer SS benefits until 70 considering the value of your assets available for retirement needs. Those extra funds in your later years may turn out to be very important. Be sure to learn about the File and Suspend strategy that may allow one of you to be...
by BigFoot48
Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help please with revised plan for living in retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 2774

Re: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt

You should add the Ford C-Max Energi to your list of cars to test drive. I own one and its the best car, out of 14, I've owned for ride comfort and driving pleasure. It seats five adults. I have not driven a Prius or Volt but people on the C-Max forum who also own or had owned those generally prefer...
by BigFoot48
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 2575

Re: Weekend in Tucson - Kids' Birthday

I have to disagree with the weather report. June's the worst month as the rain is still a month off. Heck, it was only 90 this afternoon (and humid, but it's a dry humidity!). Good suggestions above. I would think 12-year olds would like these: Pima Air and Space Museum with Boneyard Tour of stored ...
by BigFoot48
Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weekend in Tucson - Kids' Birthday
Replies: 19
Views: 876

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

Bummer. Century Link doesn't support the dual-ring feature necessary for Nomorobo to operate. Oh well, totally answering machine screening works pretty well.
by BigFoot48
Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 100
Views: 6275

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

We screen all calls with an answering machine muted and leave the ringer off. Friends and family know to email if they want to talk real time and we turn the ringer on. Didn't know about Nomorobo but it looks good and will set it up. One recent annoying call we kept getting was from a traffic ticket...
by BigFoot48
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 100
Views: 6275

Re: Suggestions for the Wiki

Both of the links under Life Expectancy calculators are broken Withdrawal rates and life expectancy Main article: Life Expectancy Calculators http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bogleheads%C2%AE_retirement_planning_start-up_kit I quick Google on those same words brings up a long list of possibilities. N...
by BigFoot48
Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Suggestions for the Wiki
Replies: 269
Views: 99514

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Rounding and better labeling of itemized deductions has been added to the existing version. If you would like a slightly better itemized deduction feature, download the current version 14.7 again, otherwise there's no need to get the revised version. This post was revised from the original message a...
by BigFoot48
Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Version 14.7 has been modified and re-released - hopefully for the last time. All users should update to it. What I discovered when running my own portfolio/etc. through it was that the revised SS calculation was not handling existing benefits correctly. So I ended up redoing the entire calculation ...
by BigFoot48
Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

A new version of the Retiree Portfolio Model is now available. As this includes significant improvements and a few bug fixes, I recommend all users update to it. Download the current (revised) version 14.7 - 7/26/2014: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tf6ww5kmv9kkylc/Retiree%20Portfolio%20Model%20v14.7.xls...
by BigFoot48
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel

Ah yes, mention of Slan, Null-A, Weapon Shops of Isher, and the Voyage of the Space Beagle instantly took me back to 1960 and my membership in The Science Fiction Book Club supported by my paper route income. Over the years, one of those books would pop occasionally into my mind and I would think &q...
by BigFoot48
Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Title/Author of Science Fiction Novel
Replies: 28
Views: 2098

Took SS Benefits at 62 - Now 66 - Suspend?

In doing research on the SS file and suspect strategy, I found a suggestion that those who started benefits at 62 (or before 66 FRA) should consider suspending benefits at 66 to allow the 8% yearly delayed retirement credit to accumulate for four years, thus getting some of the "old age insuran...
by BigFoot48
Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Took SS Benefits at 62 - Now 66 - Suspend?
Replies: 1
Views: 531

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Thanks for your question. Each account, taxable, IRAs, and Roths, have their annual earnings calculated based on the return rate selected for each, and are shown in the Account Earnings and Income section on the "case" pages. (Details of IRA #1 and #2, etc., are normally hidden but can be ...
by BigFoot48
Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Tax-Conscious Retirement and Roth Conversion Calculator

My Retiree Portfolio Model, that livesoft mentioned above, calculates taxes using all the brackets, and allows one to precisely set Roth conversions to fill the 15% bracket for as many years as desired. The modeling of capital gains and qualified dividends etc. is very difficult from my perspective....
by BigFoot48
Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax-Conscious Retirement and Roth Conversion Calculator
Replies: 11
Views: 1267

Re: Solar panels, are they worth it?

Article on the impact of leased solar panels on home sales: Dorian Bishopp blames the solar panels on his roof for costing him almost 10 percent off the value of the home he sold in March. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-23/rooftop-solar-leases-scaring-buyers-when-homeowners-sell.html
by BigFoot48
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels, are they worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 5218

Re: The value of a ROTH conversion in retirement

ps I tried to use the Retire module spreadsheet, and it made my head hurt. If you're referring to the Retiree Portfolio Model I'm sorry to hear that, as the goal was to make it as simple as possible with clear results showing the impact on one's portfolio from conversion decisions, etc.. PM me with...
by BigFoot48
Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The value of a ROTH conversion in retirement
Replies: 21
Views: 2951

Re: Electric Bike

I've noticed a few bikes with electric bike hubs when we ride. Looks like an easy modification for someone that wants some power assistance. A quick search found some at $220+: http://www.amazon.com/SainSpeed-Convers ... B00E56JY48
by BigFoot48
Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bike
Replies: 16
Views: 2057

Re: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials

I track our expenses by category and over the past 10 retirement years our "essential" expenses have averaged 83% of total expenditures, excluding net vehicle and RV purchases. House was bought with cash. As for AA and risk, all calculators I have run, like ORP, FIREcalc and Financial Engi...
by BigFoot48
Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees - What % of your income is for basic essentials
Replies: 25
Views: 2224

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

One more correction to the existing model pending the release of a significant update was made today to 14.65. In reconciling the pending update to older versions I discovered that inherited IRA withdrawals and RMD were not being included in taxable income. That has been fixed in this version and if...
by BigFoot48
Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Attention all users. While working on the next version I came to realize the possibly significant impact the use of the "Automatic Balancing" feature was having on taxable income and taxes. These automatic calculations, which create withdrawals in traditional and Roth IRAs in order to keep...
by BigFoot48
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Retiree Portfolio Model

Bigfoot, is there an easy way to input IRAs for a couple with different ages? We're six years apart, so RMDs are different. When I created this for myself two years ago I only programmed in one IRA, and one inherited IRA, because that's all I had or expected! So as of now, I suggest just combining ...
by BigFoot48
Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retiree Portfolio Model
Replies: 119
Views: 28098

Re: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary

We are in a similar position. For the next 5 years (until my husband turns 70 1/2) we can keep ourselves in the 15% bracket. I used Bigfoot's spreadsheet to optomize Roth coversions. Found it hugely helpful. I'm glad to hear you found it of value. I've tried to include all the major factors the ret...
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket Management at 15%/25% Boundary
Replies: 33
Views: 3334

Re: Blog: There's a spreadsheet for that

An excellent and important blog post reminding the average investor, who may not have the skills or interest in preparing their own, of the wealth of spreadsheets available for most of the issues that face investors, people planning for retirement, or retirees. Heck, although it had been mentioned i...
by BigFoot48
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Blog: There's a spreadsheet for that
Replies: 8
Views: 1155

Re: Do you see profit or ponzi?

I take it the firm has a website, care to share? They do not have a website denovo and I won't reveal the name of this investment company as I feel it is for me to decide how I will respond to this situation, i.e. "turn 'em in" or just walk away. I also think you have a moral obligation t...
by BigFoot48
Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you see profit or ponzi?
Replies: 100
Views: 7770

Re: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?

I would guess that a lot of the 15% people actually have a 27.75% marginal tax rate due to Social Security taxation. Thanks for pointing that out, I think. I suspected I was ignoring the elephant in the room and it looks like it's time to model this out to see exactly what the benefits of Roth-conv...
by BigFoot48
Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?
Replies: 24
Views: 2665

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I read "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes a few months ago, and found it very compelling. A weekly blog I receive has a feature called "Honorary Unsubscribe" which featured Keyes, who just died, and describes his efforts to get the story published: http://www.honoraryunsubscr...
by BigFoot48
Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3267
Views: 1112958

Re: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]

My Costco Executive membership was $117 last year. My Costco rebate was $130 and my Amex (only used at Costco) rebate was $118. They're paying me to shop there! :wink:
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can you] shop at Costco [without a membership?]
Replies: 68
Views: 5136

Re: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question

celia wrote:BigFoot, Your MIL apparently needs to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from the traditional IRA because she is over age 70 1/2, not because she inherited it.

That's correct. She's 88 and he was 89.
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question
Replies: 20
Views: 986

Re: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question

It is definitely in her name alone, so it appears to not be considered an inherited IRA, and thus she is getting the RMD information that true "Inherited" IRAs are not provided because of the complexity. Does that seem right? So when my wife inherits this IRA some years hence, we will expe...
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question
Replies: 20
Views: 986

Re: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question

I'm pretty sure my MIL got a letter in January with her 2014 RMD, but I see it was also on her December 2013 account statement in the Distribution Summary section. As she will not be making contributions to it, I assume its an Inherited IRA. Do I have that right sscritic? Although looking at her sta...
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question
Replies: 20
Views: 986

Re: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question

placeholder wrote:^^^^^^ Did she roll it into an IRA in her own name because then it would not be an inherited IRA.

Yes, it went from being in her husband's name at Schwab to her name per the beneficiary designation when he died. Why is that not an inheritance?
by BigFoot48
Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab inherited IRA RMD question
Replies: 20
Views: 986
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